Self-care isn’t selfish | Sunday Observer

Self-care isn’t selfish

In today’s busy world where we are drowned in lives full of stress, we tend to take very little care of ourselves in the process. Hence, ‘Me-Time’ is not a selfish act, but an act of self-care and a time-out to enjoy being you, allowing your inner child to come out, and free yourself for a moment, from the stress, the cares and worries of this world.

In this context Art Therapy has a capable stance to play in your life and Shimali Perera, a licensed Art Therapist registered with the Australian, New Zealand and Asian Creative Arts Therapies Association is ready to share her knowledge with us to live a stress free life.

‘Creative Expressions’ is an Art Experiential Workshop which aims to give you just this experience of ‘Me-Time’. When designing this unique workshop, Shimali has paid attention to every detail and decided to tuck her workshop away in the heritage city of Kandy, away from the hustle and bustle of Colombo.

“This workshop caters to adults and consists of a variety of activities that include self-expression and self-exploration through art making and personal reflection. It will be a non-judgmental and safe space, where you do not need to have any background knowledge in art,” Shimali said.

For those curious about the concept of Art therapy, Shimali explained in simple words as it is an application of the visual arts in a therapeutic context.

“You don’t necessarily have to see a therapist to experience the therapeutic benefits of artistic expression. There are many simple activities you can try from the comfort of your home such as, art journaling, sketching, making collages, sculpting with clay and many more hand-crafts. It doesn’t matter what media you choose. The only thing that matters is that you feel comfortable using it,” Shimali added.

However, Shimali stressed the fact that working with a licensed therapist also has its advantages because a professional can tailor each activity to each participant’s needs. If the activities are done in a group, they are excellent for building healthy connections with other people, which may be helpful if you are fighting depression. “The most important thing is that you should try art therapy only if you want it. Expressing yourself through art can be self-revealing and sometimes equally painful as talking. So, if you still don’t feel ready to try it, that is okay, give some time to yourself and allow it to be realised by yourself. However, ‘Creative Expressions’ is more focused on valuing your own self and learning to appreciate your time by doing something creative. It would definitely help to boost your self-esteem and feel fresh,” Shimali added.

Shimali Perera, AThR (B.S. Psychology, MA Art Therapy) holds a Master’s degree in Art Therapy and is registered with the Australian, New Zealand and Asian Creative Arts Therapies Association (ANZACATA). She works with both adults and children: Her experience with adults includes working with those who have misused substances and those experiencing depression, anxiety disorders, and trauma. Shimali has also conducted talks and Art Experiential workshops for counsellors, doctors, professionals in the corporate sector, teachers, children, non-governmental organizations and the public in both Sri Lanka and overseas.

What to expect from ‘Creative Expressions’:

Stress-relief, enjoyment, relaxation, insights into one’s own life and strengthening coping mechanisms are a few of the many benefits one would acquire from being a part of this art experiential workshop.